|NYE 2010 - Chum's supremacy was established|
We have passed a milestone in Austin's life. Last night, he fell asleep without his Chum.
Chum, a battered old monkey, has been beloved in our household since Austin turned one. Chum emerged from a band of three merry teddies, as frontrunner for the position of toddler wingman. In his glory days, no playdate or trip to nursery would be complete without Chum's goofy grin (which was eventually chewed off) and his damp muzzle (Austin loved to suck).
But over recent months, Austin has been saying a slow goodbye to his erstwhile sidekick. These days, Chum hardly ever accompanies us out of the house. He rarely even makes it downstairs, after Austin bounds eagerly off to get some jammy porridge and pester Mum and Dad for a morning episode of Scooby Doo.
Our little boy has been growing up. Moving on from Chum is a sign that he's ready to take on the world, without needing a greying stuffed monkey to hold his hand.
And I'm pleased. Really, I am.
Still, part of me feels sad, because Austin is bidding farewell to a friend that I loved. A friend who came for tea every night, and who was there for Austin when I couldn't be. A reliable dance partner who would take to the floor at music class whenever Austin felt like a bop. A monkey whom all our friends and relatives knew by name and reputation, and who, despite almost daily washing, remained cloaked in his own skunky musk.
A little character who, for me, will always be a big part of Austin's early childhood. Long after Austin has come to see his Chum as just a moth-eaten soft toy that Mum and Dad keep on a wardrobe shelf.
Because they're a bit batty and sentimental like that.
|Chum tea party, as styled by Austin|